Task: Purchase an Atari 2600+
Needed: Web browser
Time: 5-10 minutes
The recent history of the company called Atari is one many of us choose to ignore due to poor decisions about what products to develop and market. However, the recent release of a modern version of the Atari 2600 (the ‘+’) has generated quite a well-deserved buzz. Maybe Atari has finally figured out there is a market for newly made hardware and software that replicates the experience we all love from the 1970s and 1980s.
The Atari 2600+ very faithfully recreates the original 2600 look and feel in a smaller form factor more suitable for the modern cluttered desk or AV cabinet. The quality of the unit seems pretty good. An appealing aspect of the + is that it will play most original 2600 cartridges by downloading the ROM and running it on an emulator much like the Retron77. The system provides HDMI out for high-quality viewing and is powered by a USB cable. As a bonus, it also plays Atari 7800 games!
I received a 10-games in 1 cartridge with my unit that includes Adventure, Combat, Dodge ‘Em, Haunted House, Maze Craze, Missile Command, RealSports Volleyball, Surround, Video Pinball, Yars’ Revenge. Not a bad selection. Games are selected by flipping four dip switches on the back.
I also purchased extra newly made joysticks that look and feel just like the originals. One comes in the 2600+ box. They also have for sale paddle controllers that have the same look and feel. This is a godsend given how fragile the old paddles are. This comes with a 4-games in 1 cartridge with Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Night Driver, and Video Olympics. Happy to have both of these new controllers.
Purchase a + from the Atari 2600+ web page. The base unit sells for $129.99 at the time of this post. It comes with the 10-in-1 cartridge and a joystick.
Extra CX40 joysticks can be purchased for $24.99
The CX30 paddle controllers with 4-in-1 cartridge will set you back $39.99
I hope this is the start of making and selling the kinds of products we want to buy. I would love to see a newly made Atari 800XL. Please!
Everything seems really well made with nice packaging and good quality materials. Feels just like the originals to me.
A nice feature is the ability to play 7800 games. This was a smart move by Atari.
Note that it takes at least 10 seconds for the + to boot, load, and play the game from the cartridge. This is because it needs to rip the ROM and the boot it in the emulator. The delay didn’t feel too long to me, but it could be frustrating if you are swapping lots of cartridges.
Here is a piece about the + from CNN
Here is positive review from GamesRadar
Here is a negative review from Ars Technica